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Bush allowed NSA to spy without warrants...

Spaceman Spiff

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Report: Bush Permitted NSA to Spy in U.S.

NEW YORK (AP) - The National Security Agency has eavesdropped, without warrants, on as many 500 people inside the United States at any given time since 2002, The New York Times reported Friday.

That year, following the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush authorized the NSA to monitor the international phone calls and international e-mails of hundreds - perhaps thousands - of people inside the United States, the Times reported.

Before the program began, the NSA typically limited its domestic surveillance to foreign embassies and missions and obtained court orders for such investigations. Overseas, 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time.

The Times said reporters interviewed nearly a dozen current and former administration officials about the program and granted them anonymity because of the classified nature of the program.

Government officials credited the new program with uncovering several terrorist plots, including one by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting al-Qaida by planning to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, the report said.

But some NSA officials were so concerned about the legality of the program that they refused to participate, the Times said. Questions about the legality of the program led the administration to temporarily suspend it last year and impose new restrictions.

Caroline Fredrickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group's initial reaction to the disclosure was ``shock that the administration has gone so far in violating American civil liberties to the extent where it seems to be a violation of federal law.''

Asked about the administration's contention that the eavesdropping has disrupted terrorist attacks, Fredrickson said the ACLU couldn't comment until it sees some evidence. ``They've veiled these powers in secrecy so there's no way for Congress or any independent organizations to exercise any oversight.''

The Bush administration had briefed congressional leaders about the program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that handles national security issues.

Aides to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte and West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, declined to comment Thursday night.

The Times said it delayed publication of the report for a year because the White House said it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. The Times said it omitted information from the story that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists.

Earlier this week, NBC News reported it had obtained a document generated by an obscure Pentagon agency that analyzes intelligence reports on suspicious domestic activity. The 400-page document included at least 20 references to U.S. citizens, plus information on anti-war meetings and protests.

The Pentagon said Wednesday that Stephen Cambone, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, had ordered a full review of the system for handling such information to ensure that it complies with Pentagon policies and federal law.

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That year, following the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush authorized the NSA to monitor the international phone calls and international e-mails

I don't have a problem with an international monitoring RIGHT AFTER 9/11 or any major attack in the future...

It should not be the norm though.

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Same problem here as with the Patriot Act. Just make sure someone is making sure abuses do not occur and people are held accountable for their actions. No accountability and no oversite breads corruption.

Both this and the Patriot act have those provisions.

And both are not limitless or endless. Which is the ultimate brilliance of both.

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When you consider that terrorists have intentionally placed sleeper cells inside the U.S. and have actively attempted to recruit American-born Muslims to their cause, can you really pretend to be surprised that our intelligence agencies have to monitor U.S. citizens? Not doing so would be a deriliction of duty.

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I have some problems with it. Especially when you couple it with the policy of arresting Americans without charge. Holding them in a jail cell without representation, and denying them due process for an indeterminable ammount of time. I don't like the idea of giving the government carte blanc power to do anything they want. How much like Nixon and his enemies list which became his enemies list. The potential for abuse is too big. You need a way to wire tap these guys, develop a council that can give a temporary okay, but there still should be probable cause, not just cause I want to.

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Burgold.... holdiing enemy combatants without representation wasn't part of the article. As for wire tapping international calls... fine with me. These sleepers are having to communicate with their handlers back in the ME in some form or another.... we might as well be trying to capture those communications.

Trust me...if we weren't doing this and an attack were to happen... I'm quite sure the left would seize on it as something Bush SHOULD have done but wasn't because he was to busy chopping wood in Crawford Texas or something. :doh:

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All these things are linked. And I was talking about imprisoning Americans without representation, charge, or trial, not foreigners. Which we have found out they were doing. You have to put all the decisions together and not look at it piecemeal. You may be okay with this, but are okay with this combined with them investigating and keeping permanent records on Quaker protest groups? Are you okay with those two, but okay with them entering homes without warrants and without even needing in-department approval just a single agent's suspiscion, are you okay with is that an acceptable suspension of rights for our safety, but are you satisfied with those three plus giving them permission that they got to get a hold of all your bank, library, and credit reports without warrent or even supervision... Are you then okay with not giving Americans a trial when they're being held, are you okay with Americans not even being formally charged, are you satisfied with Americans not getting representation. See, if you look at one thing all by itself, it's probably okay, but you combine all the puzzle pieces then you begin to see a disturbing pattern.

One of the best ideas of our founding fathers were checks and balances. I think we still need them. Even if we will allow these guys to do invade our privacy on a temp basis there should be followup to determine if it was warranted or if it should desist or be maintained.

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If it needed to be done then the law should have been changed through the legal processes that the Constitution provides. The President can't just issue secret executive orders that overide the law. What other secret executive orders has he issued that overode laws?

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Without warrant to me implies no checks and balances. I may be wrong or oversimplifying, but if your department can summarily choose to spy, wiretap, or arrest without judicial oversight... then one branch is acting indepently of the others. As I said above, if you combine this with several of the other choices they made...


Imprisonment without Charge

Imprisonment without Representation

Imprisonment without trial

Access to bank accounts, library, internet etc. without warrant

Phone records without warrant

and add wiretaps to it

There's a pretty disturbing pattern of privacy being invaded by one branch without oversight except internal oversight.

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